(2013 Vintage) In 1886 the first blocks of the Monte Bello vineyard were planted and construction on the winery begun. The first vintage was the 1892. In the early 1940s, the last of the old vineyard was abandoned; in the late forties a few blocks were replanted. Those cabernet vines—now over sixty-five years old—produced the first Ridge Monte Bello (1962) and subsequent vintages until 1974. By then other abandoned blocks had been replanted and their fruit considered for use in the Monte Bello. A number of those consistently produced a more accessible wine that developed its full complexity earlier and these were combined as the “Santa Cruz Mountains.” With the 2008 vintage the name of this stylistically distinct wine became the Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, stressing the principal varietal and the Monte Bello estate vineyard as its source.
The nose on this was explosive with ripe, juicy cassis and plum with cedar, tobacco and spice There was a warming feel to the aromas which spoke in a gentle tone encouraging me in for a sip The palate is firm, tight and minerally with an abundance of black fruits, chocolate and oak up front The mid palate is rounded, very well balanced with violets, damson and herbs The finish is long and elegant with great freshness and acidity
Robert Parker(2006 Vintage) Rating: 94+/100 - As reviewed by Robert Parker on 02/22/2010
Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines(2008 Vintage) Rating: 96/100 - As reviewed by Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines on Aug-06.
Wine Spectator(2008 Vintage) Rating: 87/100 - As reviewed by Wine Spectator on 01/01/05.
Robert Parker(2007 Vintage) Rating: 92+/100 - As reviewed by Robert Parker on 02/22/2011
Robert Parker(2005 Vintage) "Composed of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, and 2% Cabernet Franc, the 2005 Monte Bello should be one of the all-time greats made at this estate. It offers a dense purple color, an extraordinary bouquet of spring flowers, blueberries, creme de cassis, black fruits, and a hint of oak. It also has an unctuous texture. As with all rich wines, the oak component plays a complementary role in the wine’s nuances. A seamless integration of acidity, wood, tannin, and alcohol is found...